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The Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act charges states to institute multipronged strategies not only to prevent delinquency but to improve the juvenile justice system and assure equal treatment of all youth. To successfully address Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention recommends a five-phase process, whereby jurisdictions: 1) identify whether disproportionality exists and the extent to which it exists; 2) assess the contributing factors, examine minority overrepresentation and explain differences at all contact stages of the juvenile justice system; 3) provide an intervention plan; 4) evaluate the efficacy of efforts to reduce DMC; and 5) monitor and track DMC trends over time to identify emerging critical issues and to determine whether there has been progress. The goal of this assessment is to identify the factors that contribute to DMC so that Nebraska’s juvenile justice system stakeholders can design appropriate intervention strategies. Like many assessments of this type, we were limited by the availability and quality of data. However, the report and recommendations that follow identify ways in which Nebraska can: 1) improve its capacity to develop data-driven approaches to addressing DMC; 2) examine subjective discretion points for the purpose of removing the potential for implicit bias to impact decision making; and 3) implement best practices to improve the juvenile justice system.


This project was supported by Grant #10-DA-0601 awarded by the Nebraska Crime Commission through the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Juvenile Accountability Block Grant. Points of view or opinions contained within this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Commission.

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